Eighth Circuit Holds Lacey Act Does Not Bar Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Members from Fishing on Leech Lake Reservation

Here is the opinion in United States v. Brown.

An excerpt:

Appellees Michael Brown, Jerry Reyes, Marc Lyons, and Frederick Tibbetts were indicted under the Lacey Act which makes it unlawful to “sell . . . any fish . . . taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of . . . any Indian tribal law.” 16 U.S.C. § 3372(a)(1). The indictments alleged that appellees had netted fish for commercial purposes within the boundaries of the Leech Lake Reservation in violation of the Leech Lake Conservation Code, then sold the fish. Appellees are Chippewa Indians, and they moved to dismiss the indictments on the ground that their prosecution violates fishing rights reserved under the 1837 Treaty between the United States and the Chippewa. The district court granted the motions to dismiss. The 1 United States appeals, arguing that its application of the Lacey Act did not infringe on appellees’ fishing rights. We affirm.


US Opening Brief

Appellees Brief

US Reply Brief

Lower court materials here

EPA Issues Decision on Maine’s Application to Issue Water Quality Standards with Tribal Fishing Rights Implications

Here are the materials:

2015-1-30 ME WQS EPA Response to Comments

2015-2-2 ME WQS EPA Decision Letter Attachment A

2015-2-2 ME WQS EPA Decision Letter

Maine Tribal Fishing Rights Letter to EPA 1.30.15

Three New Indian Law Articles in Idaho Law Review


Thad Blank, Time to Recommit: The Department of Justice’s Indian Resources Section, the Trust Duty, and Affirmative Litigation, 48 Idaho L. Rev. 391 (2012).

Benjamin J. Fosland, A Case of Not-So-Fatal Flaws: Re-Evaluating the Indian Tribal Energy and Self-Determination Act, 48 Idaho L. Rev. 447 (2012).

Katheryn A. Bilodeau, The Elusive Implied Water Right for Fish: Do Off-Reservation Instream Water Rights Exist to Support Indian Treaty Fishing Rights, 48 Idaho L. Rev. 515 (2012).